In today’s world, elder caregiving is recognized as a key element of everyday life for millions of families throughout the United States. Adult Day Care is an important care option for families as they transition into the role of primary caregiver for their loved ones.
In greater numbers than ever before, caregiver family members face a crucial dilemma between creating and maintaining a healthy life balance for themselves and for their elderly family members. For many caregivers, finding the balance between caring for their loved one and living a normal outside life for themselves can be incredibly difficult. Family caregivers often become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work they face when caring for their loved ones. Between medicine schedules, physical stress, and the lack of proper care knowledge to meet ailing senior needs, caregivers often find themselves unable to handle the day-to-day demands while also juggling their own responsibilities.
Adult Day Care is an important source of respite care, providing comprehensive programs specially tailored to adults who need supervision and assistance during the day. The service centers offer social activities and health care programs for adults with physical disabilities and cognitive impairments, while supervising seniors who are frail and unable to be alone for long periods of time. Being a part of an Adult Day Care program allows the individual to live at home while also receiving the crucial required daily care that many families simply do not have the capacity to provide. Potentially, the family can avoid making the difficult decision to move the elderly relative to a full time assisted living facility if an Adult Day Care program is in place. Additionally, it allows caregivers to have peace of mind and a deserved break from the daily struggle of meeting their family member’s needs and balancing their own responsibilities.
Benefits of Adult Day Care
• Preserves independence
• Promotes Social and Cognitive Function
• Safely engages seniors in appropriate physical activities
• Creates routine and daily expectations
• Improves senior health and quality of life
• Social Interaction
About half of the United States population has at least one chronic condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Adults ages 65 and older, 75 percent of whom have chronic conditions, are expected to make up 19 percent of the population by 2030, compared with 12 percent in 2000.
Adult day care helps to remedy these issues by offering older adults a place to go every day and receive care, nutritious meals, mental and physical stimulation, and companionship.
Benefits of Adult Day Care for Caregivers
• Reduce stress
• Improves participant and caregiver relationships
• Reduced anxiety or guilt
• Peace of Mind
• Financial Relief-Adult day care is often less expensive than in-home medical care or full time rehabilitation facilities.
• Freedom to continue working
• Improved Quality of Life
According to the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center Website, here are some of the most important questions to ask when choosing an Adult Day Care center.
• What are the hours, fees and services? (Be sure to ask about the minimum attendance requirements and the notification policy for absences.)
• What types of programs are offered?
• Are people with dementia separated from other participants or included in general activities?
• Will the center evaluate the person’s needs? How will this evaluation be accomplished? What types of health care professionals are on staff? How do you screen them?
• How are emergency situations handled?
• How do you ensure the safety of the participants?
• Is transportation available?
When an adult loved one loses the ability care for him or herself, families can be forced into a difficult position to make tough decisions. Adult Day Care is an option that allows the family member to live at home, while the caregiver simultaneously maintains his or her daily life activities.
For more information, the Caregiver Action Network is a non-profit organization providing education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers across the country free of charge.
Abutaleb, Yasmeen. “Caregivers: Two-Fifths Of U.S. Adults Care For Sick, Elderly Relatives.” Http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/20/caregivers-adults-care-for-elderly-relatives-sandwich-generation_n_3469779.html. Huffingtonpost.com, 20 June 2013. Web. 1 Feb. 2016. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/20/caregivers-adults-care-for-elderly-relatives-sandwich-generation_n_3469779.html>.
2 Adult Day Care | Caregiver Center | Alzheimer’s Association.” Alzheimer’s Association. Www.alz.org, 2016. Web. 01 Feb. 2016. <https://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-adult-day-centers.asp>.